October Extraordinary Leader: A Future Lawyer, A Born Leader

Open Lyndsey Clos’ day planner, and it’s like a rainbow, awash in color.

She uses purple ink for classes, blue for meetings, red for something really important and green for anything dealing with student government.

Clos at the presidential inauguration in January.

She is busy, this junior from Burlington, Vermont. She’s vice president of the Student Government Association, and she juggles many other responsibilities on campus. That includes working as a resident assistant at Finch Honors Hall.

That’s not all. She was one of the dozen students selected to attend January’s Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Clos now has another distinction: Extraordinary Leader for the month of October.

She is a standout student with big plans. One of her 16 stickers on her laptop gives it away. It’s the one below the mascaraed eyelashes and her favorite singer, The Weeknd. The sticker reads Future Lawyer.

Two years ago, Clos came to High Point University not knowing a soul. She was 836 miles from her home – and yes, she tracked it.

But that didn’t stop her.

 

The Allure of Coming South

It was the fall of 2015, and Clos was crushed.

She wanted to get into Alpha Chi Omega. She didn’t. She wanted to be a freshman class representative, and she ran off hundreds of fliers with her face and name. She lost.

“I failed at everything,” she told herself. “Who am I?”

Close sits in a room at Georgetown Law that is the exact same size dimensions and set-up as the room in the Supreme Court where the lawyers present their oral arguments to the Supreme Court Justices.

She knew. She was the oldest of four, the headstrong daughter of Randy and Danielle Clos. Her siblings called her “Lynny,” and when she pushed her parents over something said or planned, they always had the same response.

“You need to be a lawyer because you argue all the time with us,” they would tell her.

She is resourceful. So, after her defeats, she looked elsewhere.

She became a Student Justice with the Office of Student Life. That gave her the confidence to become the financial chair for Phi Alpha Delta, the pre-law fraternity, and the publicity chair for the Odyssey Club, the student-run organization in HPU’s Honors Scholar Program.

Clos also found a part-time campus job as a student caller for the Undergraduate Admissions office and worked 12 hours a week calling prospective students interested in coming to HPU. Every time, she told her story about why she came from so far away.

Clos lived five minutes from the University of Vermont, and many of her friends went there. But she didn’t want to. Too close, she thought. She wanted to explore opportunities far beyond her state.

While considering 16 other schools, she found HPU.

When she came for a campus tour, she sat in on a class that explored the death penalty and talked to the professor afterward. In all her campus visits, she never did that – and that’s all it took. She liked the personal attention, and she saw the chance for opportunity.

Opportunity soon came.

 

Clos: A Future Fighter For Justice

Clos is a member of HPU’s Honors Scholar Program with a double major in political science and English and a minor in philosophy.

She’ll read Herman Melville’s final novel, “Billy Budd,” and likes nothing better than diving into class discussions about law and ethics, right and wrong.

Her interest in law all sprang from an eighth-grade assignment. She chose to study the U.S. Supreme Court because she didn’t know what it was. Then, when her class visited Washington, D.C. on a field trip, she walked by the U.S. Supreme Court and stopped.

She couldn’t get over what she saw – and what the marble building represented.

“Sure, the president and vice president are cool, but these nine judges do some huge cases,” she thought. “That is so fascinating.”

Five students along with Clos attended the conference in Washington, D.C., to find out more about law school. In the photo, left to right — Craig Simpson, Chandler Hargis, Sandrine Yesilian, Lyndsey Clos, Briana Smalley, Grace George, Ryan Pettine and faculty advisor Dr. Donna Scheidt.

In high school, she scored two internships with local lawyers, and at HPU, she served as SGA’s Chief Justice last year. This year, she’s a Student Justice, a member of the National Leadership and Success Society and chapter president of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta.

Last month, she once again visited D.C. This time, it was for a four-day trip with Phi Alpha Delta members to attend a legal conference for college students. Dr. Donna Scheidt, one of the fraternity’s two faculty advisors, went as well.  

But the advisors didn’t arrange the trip. Clos did. She and five other students went. Close wanted other underclassmen to make the trip to ensure the interest in the club would build and continue after she graduates in May 2019. Clos turned 20 in September.

“That’s a remarkable act of foresight, particularly for someone of that age,” says Scheidt, an assistant professor of English and a former attorney who graduated from Harvard Law School nearly 20 years ago. “But that’s Lyndsey. She’s always very thoughtful and very others-oriented. She wants to see the club continue, not just for her or her resume.”

She inherited that altruistic drive from her parents.

“My dad, he never liked to settle, and that’s how I feel,” Clos says. “In my leadership positions, I want people to have that drive and never settle. I didn’t want to settle. I wanted to do more, and that’s why I came almost 1,000 miles from home.”

 

Dreams Do Come True

At the inauguration in January, Clos was tired, hungry, and she couldn’t move. She huddled inside a purple HPU parka and stood in the freezing rain within eyesight of the U.S. Capitol. She waited for hours for the festivities to begin.

Once everything started, a hush fell over the crowd, and she saw history happen. It was, as she says today, “riveting.” Then, she left early with an HPU student and headed back to campus.

Clos wanted to make it back for Bid Day inside the Slane Student Center to see if this time she got into Alpha Chi Omega. After driving through the night, the bus arrived at HPU an hour or so after sunrise. Clos made it just in time.

She bolted to Slane and stood with hundreds of other co-eds. They all opened their bid cards together. Clos read it. She screamed. She made it.

“This is so worth it,” she said to herself. “This is where I’m supposed to be.”

Clos and dozens of other new sorority sisters march to the fraternity quad after receiving their bids in January.

 

 

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